Looking back at 2011, I feel like I've accomplished a lot of reading. My goal was to read 10 books published this year, in hopes of taking part in some good online discussions come Newbery time. Well, that time is upon us, Heavy Medal's shortlist has been released for a month, and I exceeded my goal of 10 books, and finished 19! And I currently have bookmarks in 3 others (WONDERSTRUCK, THE PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE, and ICEFALL). Here are the 19, what I call, "eligible" for Newbery discussion, titles I have finished (in the order in which I finished them):
- SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS
- THE TROUBLE WITH MAY AMELIA
- LUCKY CAP
- THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE: THE HIDDEN GALLERY
- AMELIA LOST
- INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN
- OKAY FOR NOW
- A MONSTER CALLS
- THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK
- LUNCH BOX DREAM
- SIR GAWAIN THE TRUE
- THE TROUBLE WITH CHICKENS
- TOYS COME HOME
- NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT
- HEART AND SOUL
The reason I list all 19, is so any potential follower can place my current top five reads of the year (which I am about to reveal) in context. I surely have not read everything out there. Not even close. But I am proud of the fact that I've read more current children's literature this year than in any other.
Along with the three I mentioned above that I am currently, I hope to finish at least a few of the many others in my to-read pile by the morning of January 23, which is when the ALA awards will be announced (namely BREADCRUMBS, BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX, ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET, WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE, YOUNG FREDLE, THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING, and LIESL AND PO). With a potential 30 books under my belt, I may feel the need to revisit by top 5 at that time.
Anyways, without further ado, here are my current top 5 reads of 2011:
5. HIDDEN by Helen Frost - This is the best verse novel I read all year! (BTW, I only read two.)
4. THE TROUBLE WITH CHICKENS by Doreen Cronin - I will be welcoming future J.J. Tully installments with open arms and secret handshakes.
3. THE TROUBLE WITH MAY AMELIA by Jennifer Holm - Ms. Holm is one of my favorite working authors. I think we're going to have to start calling her the Newbery Bridesmaid! Which leads me to . . .
2. PIE by Sarah Weeks - I'm going to write my undoubtedly long review (ramblings, nonesense) about Sarah Weeks' clever little powerhouse in a few days. As it stands, PIE is my sleeper.
1. OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt - I feel the same way today as I did when I finished it this summer. I don't care that people are picking this book apart left and right. When Schmidt's book is at its best, it's better than anything that's come out in recent memory. Sure it comes with its fair share of lows, but I can't think of anything that can top its highs.